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Sunday, October 2, 2022


What has the Sheriff done to keep the jail population down?

Since taking office in 2011, Sheriff Mascher has been recognized as a leader in implementing innovative programs designed to get people out of jail and keep them out. These include:

  • Developing and implementing pre-arrest mental health diversion strategies for all Yavapai County law enforcement, including Mobile Crisis Response Teams, and working with local mental health providers to create the mental health Crisis Stabilization facility to keep the mentally ill out of the jail;
  • Participation in the federal 287g program to promptly identify and transfer illegal immigrants to Federal custody;
  • Creating a dedicated Behavioral Health Unit inside the jail to facilitate the release of arrestees with mental health issues to treatment facilities and reduce recidivism;
  • Implementing the Coordinated Release Program linking inmates upon release with mental health treatment providers, medical treatment providers, employment assistance, transportation assistance and other appropriate community assistance (“Reach Out”).

Besides the Sheriff, what are other county officials doing to keep the jail population down?

Yavapai County’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Council features members of all Yavapai County’s criminal justice community including the Courts, County Attorney, Sheriff, Probation, and Public Defender. Together and in teams, the members of the Council have implemented innovations to reduce both jail population and recidivism, including:

  • Innovative prosecution and sentencing programs to reduce recidivism;
  • Implementation of Veteran’s Courts to facilitate the release of veteran arrestees and reduce recidivism;
  • Pre-trial release and diversion programs to expedite the release of inmates where release would not threaten the community;
  • Implementation of Mental Health Court to facilitate the treatment of arrestees with mental health needs and reduce recidivism;
  • New probation revocation guidelines that reduce or eliminate jail time for minor probation violations.

Haven’t the voters twice rejected building a new jail?

No. While voters have twice rejected raising the jail district sales tax by ¼ cent (once in 2008, and once in 2014), the question of whether to build a criminal justice facility in Prescott has never been placed before the voters.

Will the Criminal Justice Center draw criminals and their families to Prescott?

Highly unlikely. The Criminal Justice Center is designed to be a booking and holding facility. It will be a place for Prescott area law enforcement to book, most of whom reside in the Prescott area. Arrestees are held pending their constitutionally mandated court hearings, most of which take place within a few hours. Inmates that are to be held in jail longer than 10 days will be transported to Camp Verde for longer term incarceration. Since inmates will not be held in the Criminal Justice facility for more than a few days, there is no reason for families that are not already in Prescott to move here to see the inmate. Further, swift justice tends to make criminals move away from an area, not to the area.

What is the estimated average length of stay for the new Prescott criminal justice facility?

Ten days or less.

Won’t the criminal justice facility have a negative effect on nearby property values?

Highly unlikely. The area surrounding the Criminal Justice Center site already contains uses that are considered “undesirable.” The Criminal Justice Center is surrounded on two sides by a closed landfill, and a third side holds a wastewater treatment plant. Across the street from the Criminal Justice Center is a garbage transfer station and the local animal shelter. The County’s juvenile detention center is next door. The Criminal Justice Center site is surrounded by large steep hills, screening it from nearby properties, and the nearest residential property is over 1/2 mile from the site.

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